She's a star student who's full of passion, but she knows one phone call could wreck it all.
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Open Society Foundations

This is Sofia.

In some ways, she's just like anyone her age.

She grew up in California; she's a graduate student; she has hopes and dreams and fears.



But in other ways, she couldn't be more different: she is undocumented.

Sofia grew up in the US, but she was born elsewhere. And because of that, her mere existence in the US is illegal. Take a minute to really let those words soak in. She says, "My being is illegal."

Sometimes she is scared — even terrified.

She knows that there is a huge risk to sharing her story. Because of the law, she has to fear for herself and her family — not to mention her friends.

But mostly, she is undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic.

Why? Because she knows that her status is not her fault. The injustice that lives within our laws today is not her fault.

To hear the entirety of Sofia's passionate speech, check out the video below.

FACT CHECK TIME! Here's a bit more info on the politics of what Sofia is talking about:

  • Sofia's situation may be more common than you think. In fact, there may be as many as 2 million undocumented youth in America.
  • While Sofia doesn't specifically talk about the DREAM Act, it's worth mentioning here. The DREAM Act is a proposed bill that's been hanging around Congress in some form since 2001. If passed in its most recent version, it would grant legal status to qualifying undocumented immigrants who meet a set of very specific, pretty-darn-hard-to-meet criteria.
  • In 2012, President Obama began the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, which Sofia refers to in her speech. This program grants temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and before 2007. Unlike the DREAM Act (which, remember, hasn't passed), DACA does not provide a path to citizenship.
  • In November 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration. These actions include cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, allowing a little more leeway on who can request to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation, and requiring things like background checks for undocumented immigrants requesting to remain in the U.S. These were actually announced just after Sofia's speech, and she does mention that folks were expecting an announcement of the sort soon.
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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

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Dr. David McPhee offers advice for talking to someone living in a different time in their head.

Few things are more difficult than watching a loved one's grip on reality slipping away. Dementia can be brutal for families and caregivers, and knowing how to handle the various stages can be tricky to figure out.

The Alzheimer's Association offers tips for communicating in the early, middle and late stages of the disease, as dementia manifests differently as the disease progresses. The Family Caregiver Alliance also offers advice for talking to someone with various forms and phases of dementia. Some communication tips deal with confusion, agitation and other challenging behaviors that can come along with losing one's memory, and those tips are incredibly important. But what about when the person is seemingly living in a different time, immersed in their memories of the past, unaware of what has happened since then?

Psychologist David McPhee shared some advice with a person on Quora who asked, "How do I answer my dad with dementia when he talks about his mom and dad being alive? Do I go along with it or tell him they have passed away?"

McPhee wrote:

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